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Mismatches between actual and preferred work time: empirical evidence of hours constraints in 21 countries

  • Otterbach, Steffen

This paper analyzes the discrepancy between actual and desired working hours in a multinational setting. Using the latest data of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) with a focus on work orientations hours constraints in 21 heterogeneous countries are analyzed. One major finding is that hours constraints are interrelated with macroeconomic variables such as (i) unemployment rates, (ii) GDP per capita as a measure of welfare, (iii) average weekly work hours, and (iv) income inequality. A subsequent multivariate analysis reveals that, on both macro- and microlevels, sociodemographic variables like prosperity and income, high risk of unemployment, and working conditions play an important role in determining working hours constraints. The results further suggest that, with respect to working conditions, such constraints are also affected by gender issues.

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Paper provided by University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID) in its series FZID Discussion Papers with number 07-2009.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fziddp:200907
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  1. René Böheim & Mark P. Taylor, 2004. "Actual and Preferred Working Hours," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 149-166, 03.
  2. Wolf, Elke, 1998. "Do hours restrictions matter? A discrete family labor supply model with endogenous wages and hours restrictions," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Lars Osberg, 2003. "Understanding Growth and Inequality Trends: The Role of Labour Supply in the US and Germany," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(s1), pages 163-184, January.
  4. Jerry Jacobs & Kathleen Green, 1998. "Who Are the Overworked Americans?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 442-459.
  5. Merz, Joachim, 2002. "Time and Economic Well-Being--A Panel Analysis of Desired versus Actual Working Hours," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 317-46, September.
  6. Alfonso Sousa-Poza & Fred Henneberger, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Working-Hours Constraints in Twenty-one Countries," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 60(2), pages 209-242.
  7. Dustmann, Christian & Ludsteck, Johannes & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Barry Bluestone & Stephen Rose, 1998. "The Macroeconomics of Work Time," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 425-441.
  9. Silke Anger, 2006. "Zur Vergütung von Überstunden in Deutschland: unbezahlte Mehrarbeit auf dem Vormarsch," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 73(15/16), pages 189-196.
  10. Mark Wooden & Diana Warren & Robert Drago, 2009. "Working Time Mismatch and Subjective Well-being," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(1), pages 147-179, 03.
  11. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-48, June.
  12. Gerd Grözinger & Wenzel Matiaske & Verena Tobsch, 2008. "Arbeitszeitwünsche, Arbeitslosigkeit und Arbeitszeitpolitik," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 103, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  13. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Ziegler, Alexandre, 2003. "Asymmetric information about workers' productivity as a cause for inefficient long working hours," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 727-747, December.
  14. Elke Holst, 2007. "Arbeitszeitwünsche von Frauen und Männern liegen näher beieinander als tatsächliche Arbeitszeiten," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 74(14/15), pages 209-215.
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